Show Times

Edge of Sports

Full Episodes

Aaron Maybin

After four years as a professional linebacker for football teams in the U.S. and Canada, Aaron Maybin put down his helmet and picked up a range of new hats off the gridiron. As a public school teacher, artist, and activist, Maybin's best days are still yet to come. Aaron Maybin joins Edge of Sports for a wide-ranging conversation on the boxes athletes get placed in, racism within the NFL, and his life after football.

BLM in Sports

The growth of the Black Lives Matter movement through the 2010s catalyzed a resurgence of Black activism in professional sports that had its climax in 2020 with the athletes' boycott following the shooting of Jacob Blake. Just a few years later, this energy seems to have dissipated. What happened, and how can we comprehend these recent events in the longer arc of Black activism in sports? Sports journalist and author Howard Bryant joins Dave Zirin on 'Edge of Sports' for a look at the build-up to 2020 and how many athletes' politics were co-opted in the aftermath. Later in the show, Zirin shares some 'Choice Words' about the social cost of smartphone sports gambling becoming the economic lifeblood of sports. And in our segment 'Ask a Sports Scholar', Zirin speaks with Hofstra University Professor Brenda Elsey, whose research focuses on the development of women’s soccer internationally, as the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament approaches. Howard Bryant is the author of ten books, including the forthcoming 'Kings and Pawns: Jackie Robinson and Paul Robeson in America'. He has been a senior writer for ESPN since 2007 and has served as the sports correspondent for NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday since 2006. Dr. Brenda Elsey is a professor of history at Hofstra University, where she focuses on the history of popular culture and politics in twentieth century Latin America, in addition to gender, social theory, sports, and Pan-Americanism. She is the author of 'Futbolera: Women and Sport in Latin America'.

DeMaurice Smith

In the premiere episode of the all-new series Edge of Sports, host Dave Zirin interviews DeMaurice Smith, outgoing Executive Director of the NFL Players Association. The episode also touches on the controversy surrounding Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson's new $260 million deal—and how scrutiny regarding players' salaries is never extended to the big bucks pocketed by franchise owners. Finally, sports journalist Professor Travers joins 'Ask a Sports Scholar' to discuss the right-wing hullabaloo over trans kids playing sports.

Women's World Cup

As two-time defending champions, the US is the team to beat in this year's FIFA Women's World Cup. Long considered one of the best soccer teams in the world, the US Women's National Team hasn't always been given its dues. Former captain Julie Foudy joins Edge of Sports for a look back on the evolution of women's soccer.

John Carlos

The year 1968 was a time of rebellion across the US and the wider world. Tremendous demonstrations and rebellions shook American cities in opposition to the Vietnam War, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and demands to free Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party. Amidst this tumult, two athletes, John Carlos and Tommie Smith, captured the spirit of the times by raising their fists at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics after placing first and third in the 200-meter dash. 45 years later, Dr. John Carlos is still with us—but many of his contemporaries have passed on. Dr. John Carlos joins Edge of Sports for a look back on the lives of Jimmy Hines, Ralph Boston, Herb Douglas, Harry Belafonte, Tina Turner, and Jim Brown. Elsewhere in this episode of Edge of Sports, Dr. Maria Veri, co-author of Gridiron Gourmet: Gender and Food at the Football Tailgate, joins for a discussion on the gender politics of tailgating culture. Dave Zirin also dives into the recently leaked details of a Professional Golfers' Association merger with the Saudi Arabian LIV Golf tour.

Kareem Abdul Jabar

From 1979 to 1991, the Los Angeles Lakers would become a dominant force in the world of professional basketball and in American culture more broadly. Led by coach Pat Riley and star players Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the “Showtime” era of the Lakers is still, in many ways, the standard by which other sports dynasties are measured today. On the court, in the locker room, and beyond, the legendary Lakers franchise was both a reflection and a driver of a culture, a sport, and a country undergoing seismic changes, and the HBO dramatized series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty tells the story of the the larger-than-life personalities and politics that defined the Showtime era. This week on Edge of Sports, host Dave Zirin speaks with actor Solomon Hughes about Winning Time, which is debuting its second season on August 6, and about stepping into the role of playing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar himself. Later in this episode, Zirin shares some choice words on the Oakland A’s and Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred; then, in “Ask a Sports Scholar,” we talk with Amira Rose Davis, assistant professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas-Austin, about her forthcoming book “Can’t Eat a Medal”: The Lives and Labors of Black Women Athletes in the Age of Jim Crow.

W. Kamau Bell

This episode highlights two takes on the gender politics of sports culture. Dr. Cheryl Cooky joins the Ask a Sports Scholar segment to discuss the history of sports and gender equality, as well as her book, No Slam Dunk: Gender, Sport, and the Unevenness of Social Change. Finally, W. Kamau Bell climbs aboard for a special interview looking back on his career as a media personality, from the early days of 'Totally Biased' to 'United Shades of America'.

Cuba's journey to the Little League World Series w/Belly of the Beast

People-to-people exchanges between the people of Cuba and the US are rare due to the over 50-year US blockade against the island. But this August, a group of Cuban youths traveled to Williamsport, PA to participate in the Little League World Series. Daniel Montero, a filmmaker with Belly of the Beast Cuba, released a special documentary on the stories of the Cuban Little League team and their families earlier this year. Montero joins Edge of Sports TV for a special look at the making of the film, and some updates on the Cuban team's experience of the tournament, as well as their lives since.

College football is dangerous. Unions can fix it.

The view of college athletes as unpaid workers is gaining currency among the public. Of course, it's one thing to have an analysis of how universities exploit their students—it's another to know what to do about it. What about unionization? College Football Players Association founder and Executive Director Jason Stahl joins Dave Zirin on Edge of Sports for a deep dive into the merits, challenges, and opportunities for change in unionizing college athletes. Zirin also shares some choice words about the triumph of Spain’s world cup women over toxic men, and on Ask a Sports Scholar, he speaks with Theresa Runstedtler about her book 'Black Ball: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Spencer Haywood, and the Generation that Saved the Soul of the NBA.'

Northwestern's hazing scandal and sports culture w/Byron Hurt

Officially, hazing is illegal and unwelcome just about everywhere you turn—but it continues as an open secret in far too many fraternities, sports teams, and other institutions. The latest revelations from Northwestern University's football team are a stark reminder that we have a long way to go to uproot the culture of hazing for good. Anti-gender violence activist and documentarian Byron Hurt joins Edge of Sports for a timely discussion on the harm hazing does and how we can stop it. Dr. Neftalie Williams joins us in our Ask A Sports Scholar segment to discuss the uniqueness and global influence of skateboarding.

No to Nike: College coach stands up to sweatshop labor

Edge of Sports is back! In this Season 2 premiere, former St. John’s University Assistant Soccer Coach Jim Keady joins Dave Zirin to talk about why he left college coaching in protest of Nike sweatshop labor. He then spent a month in Indonesia exposing the company’s sweatshop abuses, making the film “Behind the Swoosh.” We also discuss the recent film “Air,” about Nike’s relationship with Michael Jordan, and the ways Hollywood is whitewashing Nike’s sins.

Trans athletes fight for inclusion in sports & racial economy of college football

Inclusion for trans athletes in sports has become a flashpoint in the culture war that extends from schools to international competitions. Katie Barnes joins Edge of Sports to discuss their new book, Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates, which offers one of the most comprehensive views yet on how the struggle for inclusion in the realm of sports has much wider social and political consequences. Dave Zirin also has Choice Words about why the public financing of stadiums is little more than corporate theft writ large. And on Ask a Sports Scholar we have Prof. Tracie Canada to speak about her cutting edge work about the racial economy of college football. Plus, we have a new segment called Ask Dave!

Chamique Holdsclaw on depression and fame

Chamique Holdsclaw's legendary status was apparent from the moment she entered professional sports. After helping the US National Team win the Gold Medal in the 1998 Berlin Olympics, Holdsclaw was named Rookie of the Year in her first WNBA season. Her talent on the court and success in the WNBA projected an image of stability, but away from the cameras, Holdsclaw struggled with her mental health. On this episode of Edge of Sports, Holdsclaw speaks frankly about her struggles with depression, bipolar disorder, and fame. Elsewhere in the episode, Dave rails against the "anti-woke" Trumpist response to the US Women's National Soccer Team's loss at the FIFA World Cup, and Dr. Abdullah Al Arian joins "Ask a Sports Scholar" to talk about soccer in the Middle East.

Michael Ray Richardson: My life after the NBA

In his first TV interview in years, legendary point guard Michael Ray Richardson joins Edge of Sports to talk about his new memoir, Banned, which chronicles how the drug war ended his NBA career. Richardson also opens up about his career and life after the NBA, his family, and his relationships with other great athletes who were his contemporaries. Host of the show Dave Zirin also speaks with University of Cincinnati Professor Letisha Brown about her study of the slowly integrating world of women’s gymnastics, and shares some theories about why football is so popular in the United States in his segment 'Choice Words'.

Proud Partners